Baby with life-threatening blood disease saved by blood donations

APEX, N.C. (WNCN) – It’s been a fight for his life ever since Camden Minnick was born.

“Blood products have not only saved Camden’s life, but it gave him his chance to even start his life,” said Camden’s mother, Carrie.

Carrie thought her pregnancy was going as planned, but six weeks before her due date something seemed wrong.

“Camden had been exposed to a virus which triggered his HLH (Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis),” Carrie said.

Doctors said HLH, a life-threatening blood disease, had affected Camden’s brain, liver and spleen, forcing Camden to be delivered early.

“It is when your immune system doesn’t work properly. When your immune system is turned on- instead of attacking a virus or an infection, it attacks you. It eats up your healthy cells, your blood cells, your platelets,” Carrie explained.

Instead of getting to hold their newborn, Camden was whisked away by doctors.

“I kissed him on the cheek and then they whisked him away for a blood transfusion,” Carrie said. “His first act in life was to receive blood.”

Camden has needed blood products continuously ever since.

“It was extremely stressful,” Charlie, Camden’s father, said. “The truth is we’ve been in the hospital since that day.”

Every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood, making it 7,000 platelets needed every day.

“It’s made a huge difference for our son, and you don’t realize the need until you’re knee deep in it,” Charlie said.

“He has gone through this journey of fighting this disease and he needed that support of blood products and platelets to be able to fight and to be able to keep going,” Carrie said.

Although an estimated 38 percent of the U.S. population is eligible to donate blood, less than 10 percent of those eligible actually does each year.

CBS North Carolina is helping to host a blood drive at Crabtree Valley Mall next week.

Where: Crabtree Valley Mall at 4325 Glenwood Ave. Lower level below the food court
When: Tuesday, Aug. 30 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Visit, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or use the Blood Donor App and enter sponsor code: Crabtree

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